Meditation: A New Thing
Thus says the Lord Who made a way through the sea, A path through the mighty waters. Remember not the former things, Neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing, Even now it is springing to light. Do you not perceive it? A way will I make in the wilderness And rivers in the desert! Isaiah 43:16, 18-19
Loosing the hand which is holding on to the past begins the process necessary to receive new life. In baptisms we confess our desire to move forward, toward the new, and leave the old behind.
When the Israelites went down into the Red Sea they were leaving Egypt and captivity. When they emerged on the other side, the unknown and that which was foreign, is what awaited them. It was a new thing.
When Naaman dipped his disfigured body into the Jordan river seven times he left his leprosy behind. He left behind his pride, his suffering, and his religion. He left behind his royal privilege and exchanged it for faith and the unknown. It was a new thing.
When Noah entered the ark he left behind the familiar. He was leaving the old and accepting something new. The old things passed away and all things became new. When the ark rested on the mount he emerged into a new thing.
There is no newness of life without first letting go of the past. Gandhi said that, “the world does not need a new religion but instead people who are bold enough to live the truth which they already know.” Acting on Jesus’ teachings brings a new thing.
His teachings are simple concepts. The problem is not with a complex spiritual dogma but with the courage to let go of the past and enter the new, the unknown, the unfamiliar, the unusual, the unlikely, the uncommon and the unexpected.
At the beginning of each year we resolve to make some changes. Generally they involve behaviors we whish to change and goals we wish to obtain. Many resolve to lose weight, to exercise, to save money or to put aside some other personal vice. With every resolution comes a letting go of the familiar and an acceptance of a new thing. It can be difficult and threatening to make a change.
It is time for a new thing. Instead of New Years resolutions which are self focused, perhaps it is time to boldly live out our religion. We can resolve to leave behind familiar mind sets and take risks on behalf of those who suffer and are oppressed. We can bear another’s burden and enter into a new thing.
Prayer: Living Spirit guide us to the waters. We pray for courage to leave behind that which is on the river bank and wade into the water where living water flows through desert places. Amen
Action: In solitude and silence listen to the still small voice which calls us to “a new thing.” Consider what you need to leave behind to more fully enter into love. What are you called to?